A Sweet + A Savory Irish Soda Bread – One Recipe, Two Loaves


“You are the bread and the knife….You are the white apron of the baker…..” Billy Collins “Litany” (excerpt)


There is little more satisfying than making my own bread….warm, crusty loaves brought forth by my own hands.  The ingredients readied, measured and mixed appeals to the organized part of me. The physical contact of floured hands to soft dough is uniquely seductive as any baker of bread will tell you.

For St. Patrick’s Day week I share two recipes for breads that are simple and quick and delicious. I enjoy making yeast breads, but Irish Soda Breads are my fall-back when time is limited and my attention span runs short whilst the desire for making a good crusty loaf is all that will suffice.


A bit of sifting and mixing….


 …….just a few ingredients with little prep time and a beautiful dough is achieved.


Gently formed into a round loaf with an “X” cut into the top, this sweet loaf is ready for the oven within about 10 to 15 minutes!


One loaf baked and smeared with marmalade and one without…one sweet and one savory, both warm and ready for a slathering of Irish butter within an hour.




A Sweet + A Savory Irish Soda Bread - One Recipe, Two Loaves

  • Servings: 2 loaves
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Ingredients for Loaf #1 – Plain and Simple

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups buttermilk

Ingredients for Loaf #2 – Marmalade Loaf

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade, divided in half

Directions for Loaf #1 –

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray or cover with parchment paper.
  2. Sift the flour, salt & soda together into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Make a “well” in the center and pour in 1 1/2 cup buttermilk and mix gently. Add more buttermilk if dough seems too dry. This dough should be soft and somewhat wet. Using your hands scrape dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.
  4. Knead dough until smooth and shape into an 8 inch round, slightly flattened disk. Place dough on prepared baking sheet and using a sharp knife dipped in water, make an “X” in the top. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until bread is golden brown and crusty. When you remove loaf from the oven and tap on the bottom it should sound hollow. Serve warm in slices with some softened Irish butter.

Directions for Loaf #2 – The process is exactly the same as the above loaf. This one uses yogurt and cream and marmalade.

  1. Preheat oven to 425 and prepared baking sheet.
  2. Sift flour, salt and soda together…make a well in the center….add yogurt, cream and half the marmalade. Stir together quickly. Scrape dough onto a floured work surface and knead a few times.
  3. Shape into a disk & place on a baking sheet. Smear outside of dough with remaining marmalade and cut an “X” in the top.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and crusty.

These breads keep well for a few days and are fantastic toasted.

Teresa Blackburn      www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com      www.foodonfifth.com

26 thoughts on “A Sweet + A Savory Irish Soda Bread – One Recipe, Two Loaves

  1. How absolutely gorgeous Teresa! I too baked an Irish soda bread this afternoon, but no where nearly as beautiful as yours. Loving the marmalade one too. I used my convection oven, and the top browned up too quickly for some reason.

    1. Hi Loretta, hope you are well. I wish I had a convection oven to give it a try, but am stuck with my old gas oven for now! The marmalade version is really just the best. Thanks for stopping by.

    1. Nicola there are just times that the yeast bread process doesn’t work for me due to desire for a crusty loaf and lack of enough time! These types of breads are just perfect. Many thanks for stopping by Food on Fifth.

    1. Buttermilk is one of the keys but you can always use plain whole fat yogurt as well. I have made these loaves both ways and find they work either way. Good luck and Happy March!

      1. Must admit for other baked items, I find yogurt yields a softer, lighter crumb but never used buttermilk in bread before. Looking forward to trying it out.

  2. Looks so good and can’t wait to try and make this! We had the most amazing Irish Soda Bread at Kells Irish Pub in Seattle and have been craving some since. Thank you.

    1. Yes, yes, yes perfect for an entry level baker and just about cannot fail! That is a good point and they really are fantastic and crusty and great for anyone who is hesitant about baking their own bread. Yeast can be terrifying for some cooks at all levels can’t it. Thank you so much for your visit.

    1. Yes I am as well…all this talk of not eating bread makes me a bit sad! I will just give up a sweet or two to have a slice of a crusty loaf! Many thank yous for stopping by.

  3. Although both loaves are absolutely gorgeous, it’s the one with the marmalade and yogurt that has me intrigued and smitten Teresa! I remember making your marmalade a few years ago and can only imagine how wonderful baking some inside a loaf of bread must be.

    1. That is my favorite one as well…the marmalade caramelized on top and made for an incredible crisp crusty loaf. Hope you are well and Happy St. Patty’s Day my friend.

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